Leora Shipley is gearing up for the Woman2Warrior adventure race to support BC Easter Seals Camps on behalf of her son Nathan

One tough mother

Twelve obstacles are no obstacle for Leora Shipley, who is fundraising for BC Easter Seals Camps on behalf of her son.

It goes without saying that Leora Shipley’s heart will race on May 24.

She’ll be exhausted, sweaty, wet and dirty, and possibly bruised after a five-kilometre, 12-obstacle adventure race in and around Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.

She’s unsure whether a currently broken toe will rebel at the exertion.

But certainly, there will be a smile on the face of the White Rock mother – even after she hits the (real) wall, which she’ll climb over at the end.

The challenge, called Woman2Warrior, is a way for Shipley to give back to the people who have helped her son over the years.

Nathan, 19, has a severe form of cerebral palsy and has very limited us of his arms or legs.

The Earl Marriott Secondary student, who graduated with honours last year, spent most of his teen summers at Camp Squamish, run by BC Easter Seals.

“It was probably the biggest thing he would look forward to all year,” says his mom, who has experienced the difficulties of parenting a son who needs constant care and supervision.

“She’s doing it for a good cause,” says Nathan, who works part-time as a community ambassador for Hunky Haulers, a Cloverdale clutter removal company.

Photo: Jason Shipley, 9, Nathan Shipley, 19, and Leora Shipley. Photo by Boaz Joseph / The Leader

Leora says that, with Nathan’s physical disabilities, people always see his wheelchair first.

The Easter Seals camp did away with that – they let him be himself.

Thirty-three-acre Camp Squamish, located at the foot of Mount Garibaldi and the mouth of the Squamish River, provides five six-day sessions each summer for hundreds of kids with various physical and mental disabilities.

Up until 2012, admission was free – with funds raised by Easter Seals and its parent charity, the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities.

In 2013, the admission cost for each child was raised to $100, and in 2014, $500.

The costs were meant to offset fundraising difficulties and the actual operational cost for each child – about $2,400.

Parents have generally accepted the new reality, said Stephen Miller, president and CEO of the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities and BC Easter Seals, during an interview last year.

Miller said that unlike other camps for children with specific diseases such as cancer or diabetes, the nature of the Easter Seals camps – for kids with a variety of disabilities – means that volunteers cannot be used, and the camps provide ratios of just one, two or three campers for each properly trained and paid staff member, to ensure proper safety and support.

About 900 kids go each summer to Camp Squamish and the other two Easter Seals camps, Camp Shawnigan on Vancouver Island and Camp Winfield in the Okanagan Valley.

Parents got into the action with the Woman2Warrior obstacle race starting in 2013.

This will be Leora’s third such test of strength, endurance and agility, so she knows what to expect – including the sideline support from her husband Peter and Nathan’s younger brother, Jason, 9.

In her first year, Leora ran alone among the crowd.

She had a team of three in 2014 and this year she will be joined by her sister-in-law and three co-workers.

Leora has raised $3,400 for the BC Easter Seals Camps since 2013.

Her team, despite their training, can predict how they’ll feel by the end of the race.

Appropriately, they’re called Scrambled Legs.

For more information, to sign up, or to support a team, visit www.woman2warrior.ca/

Just Posted

Surrey council approves free two-hour parking at city hall, around hospital

Although council gave its blessing to offer the free parking Monday (Nov. 19), it was already made free last week

Surrey School District says it needs 7 new schools in next decade

Surrey council endorsed the district’s 2019-20 capital plan on Monday, Nov. 19

Surrey Fire Service to provide non-emergency dispatch services for Port Moody

It’s said the move will bring in more than $9,000 a year for the City of Surrey

Second person dies following head-on collision in Surrey

Paige Nagata of Abbotsford was in crash on Nov. 4 that also killed Sarah Dhillon

Man still in hospital after struck by car in Surrey last week

The man was airlifted to hospital with “potential life-threatening” injuries after the incident

White Rock pier light show

Dancing lights highlighted off the water front

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing started Monday in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read